Charity for girl child education in India: Educate Girls

Who We Are

Educate Girls works with the government, community and village-based volunteers called Team Balika to ensure every girl in the remotest parts of India is enrolled in school and learns well.

About Us

Educate Girls is a non-profit that focuses on mobilising communities for girls’ education in India’s rural and educationally backward areas.

Strongly aligned with the ‘Right to Education Act’ or the ‘Samagra Shiksha,’ Educate Girls is committed to the Government’s vision to improve access to primary education for children, especially young girls.

By leveraging the Government’s existing investment in schools and engaging with a huge base of community volunteers, Educate Girls helps identify, enrol, and retain out-of-school girls and improve foundational skills in literacy and numeracy for all children (both girls and boys). This helps deliver measurable results to a large number of children and avoids parallel service delivery.


We aim to achieve behavioural, social and economic transformation for all girls towards an India where all children have equal opportunities to access quality education.


We leverage existing community and Government resources to ensure that all girls are in school and learning well.


Our goal is to improve access and quality of education for over 15 million children cumulatively by 2025.


Safeena Husain

Founder and Board Member

I once met an out-of-school girl and asked her “What do you want to be?” to which she replied, “Nobody has ever asked me this question so I have never thought about it.” The same girl is now enrolled in school by Educate Girls and today she aspires to be a police officer! This is the power of education.

A social impact leader, Safeena Husain is the Founder and Board Member of Educate Girls, an Indian non-profit working towards empowering communities for girls’ education in some of India’s hardest-to-reach villages. Most recently, in recognition of her ongoing work, Safeena received an honorary doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). This adds to her remarkable achievement in 2023, when she became the first Indian woman to be honoured as a WISE Prize laureate for her contributions to girls’ education in rural India.

Under Safeena’s guidance, Educate Girls has become a leading force globally, harnessing innovative financing and technology to bridge the gender gap in education. Under her leadership, Educate Girls delivered the world’s first Development Impact Bond in education, an outcomes-based financing model that achieved extraordinary results in both learning and enrolment. She led Educate Girls to become Asia’s first TED Audacious Project, a collaborative funding initiative focusing on scaling solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges. Safeena was conferred the NITI Aayog Women Transforming India Award and has received global accolades, including the USAID Millennium Alliance Award, MIT Solve’s Learning for Girls & Women Challenge, Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship, and the World Bank India Development Marketplace Award. Safeena grew up in New Delhi and is an alum of the London School of Economics.

Maharshi Vaishnav

Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

Maharshi has 15 years of progressively responsible cross-functional experience in strategic communications, advocacy development and international development. His work experience comprises being a part of one of India’s most diversified business conglomerates, and being a part of a global communications agency, where he provided communication advisory services to Fortune 500 organizations. His last stint prior to joining Educate Girls was a Fellowship with Grameen Foundation in South-East Asia. Maharshi holds a Master of Public Policy (International Development) and a Master of Business Administration.

Senior Management Team

Anushree Singh

Head - Human Resources

Bineesh Mathai

Director – Purpose and Resource Mobilisation

Geetika Tondon-Higgins

Director - Pragati

Lisa Rodricks

Director - Strategy

Vijaylakshmi Saxena

Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Vikram Singh Solanki

Director - Operations

* Names arranged alphabetically.


Ganesh Natrajan
Ireena Vittal
Luis Miranda
Safeena Husain
Sumit Bose
Ujwal Thakar
* Names arranged alphabetically


* Names arranged alphabetically
Government of Madhya Pradesh
Government of Rajasthan
Government of Uttar Pradesh
Adobe Systems India Pvt. Ltd.
Azim Premji Philanthropic Initiatives
Bank of America Continuum India Pvt. Ltd
Bohemian Foundation
Cartier Charitable Foundation
COMO Foundation
CRiSiL Foundation
Educate A Child (EAC)
Eros Foundation
Fossil Foundation
Give India
Global Giving
Goldman Sachs
HT Parekh Foundation
iPartner India
Jasmine Social Investments
Jester Foundation
LGT Venture Philanthropy
Lucille Foundation
Marico Limited
Mercuri Urval
Montpelier Foundation
Motivation For Excellence (RG Manudhane Foundation)
National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI)
National Stock Exchange (NSE)
Ray & Tye Noorda Foundation
Sols ARC
STiR Education
Students Stand With Malala
The Audacious Project
The British Asian Trust
The Mulago Foundation
The University of Michigan
The Womanity Foundation
The World Bank
UBS Optimus Foundation
United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF)


* Arranged from most recent to oldest
WISE Prize for Education 2023
The Hindu BusinessLine Changemaker: Social Transformation Award 2023
HundrED 2021 Global Collection
MIT Solve’s Learning for Girls & Women Challenge 2020
Global Giving 2020
ET Prime Women Leadership Awards 2019
GuideStar Gold Certificate
NITI Aayog Women Transforming India Award 2017
L’Oréal Paris Women of Worth Award
Nasscom Foundation Social Innovation Award 2015-16
2015 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship
2014 Stars Impact Award
2014 WISE Award
2014 USAID Millennium Alliance Award
Volunteer Hero Award 2014
The British Asian Trust’s Special Recognition Award, 2013
The CSR Women Leader Award, 2012
WomenChangeMakers Awards, 2012
The Rotary’s Anita Parekh Award, 2012
EdelGive Social Innovation Honors, 2011
The World Bank
Asia 21 Young Leader, 2011
Karmaveer Puraskar, 2011
Village Capital Award, 2010

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Educate Girls is a project of Foundation To Educate Girls Globally (FEGG) | FEGG is registered in India under Section 8 of the Indian Companies Act, 2013.

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